Jul252011

15 Comments

Product review: Wise Foods, “Creamy Chicken Pasta”

A number of my sponsors and affiliates carry Wise Foods, so I decided to conduct an independent review of one of Wise Foods’ entrees, Creamy Chicken Pasta. I purchased a two-serving package at a retail store and followed the preparation directions exactly.

The first thing I noticed is that it took more than 12 minutes for the meal to fully rehydrate.  It needed at least another 2-3 minutes before the curly pasta wasn’t overly al dente and the peas were soft, not chewy.  The second thing I noticed is that the meal looks unappetizing and bland.  The curly pasta and peas are in a white sauce with no discernible herbs present.

Flavor-wise, the entree wasn’t bad, but it was too bland for my taste.  It contained some onion flavoring, but very little salt.  I would definitely “doctor it up” if I were making it as an actual meal for my family.

An important fact to remember about all Wise Foods freeze-dried entrees is that they are vegetarian.  Although the entree name is Creamy Chicken Pasta, it only contains chicken flavored TVP (textured vegetable protein) and very little, at that.  TVP is a soy product, which many people eat without complaint, but others dislike.

The package claimed to serve two people but that wouldn’t fly in my house!  It really is more of a large serving for a hungry person unless you had another dish or two to serve alongside it.  Garlic bread, cooked veggies, and/or a salad would make a more complete meal for two people.

This experience reminded me of three important principles.

1.  Be absolutely sure you like the taste and flavor of a freeze-dried entree before purchasing large amounts of it.

2.  All freeze-dried entrees must be prepared with water that has reached the boiling point for best results.  If you’re stocking up on the entrees, also stock up on water, at least two off-the-grid cooking methods, and plenty of fuel.

3.  Freeze-dried entrees are what they are:  a convenience food meant to be eaten on hiking/camping trips or in emergencies.  Don’t expect all-natural ingredients, low-sodium, or a Whole Foods experience!  You may not like all the additives in the ingredient list, but remember, these entrees generally have a 20+ year shelf life.  It’s a trade-off.

On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, I give this particular entree only 2.5.

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

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(15) Readers Comments

  1. Do you think it's a good idea from an ethical standpoint to review other foods when you distribute another brand? More and more I see your excellent blog directed toward selling things and it is starting to bother me slightly. I understand that you have to make a living but it does color the advice that you give when there are so many things that you sell or advertise.

    • I do not have a problem AT ALL providing objective reviews of any product, regardless of advertisers or any other affiliations. My first priority is to always provide my readers with reliable and honest information. I was in sales for eighteen years prior to this new \”career\”, and never once did I give anyone less than my honest opinion about the products I sold. If there was a product that I thought didn\’t work well and they asked about it, I told them what I thought!

      In the case of my blog, it just isn\’t worth it for me to give a dishonest review to a substandard product. I\’ll have another review in a few days for some other \”survival\” foods, and once again, you\’ll get my honest opinion.

      As far as ads go, I get emails every week requesting advertising space. I don\’t want to add anything else to my sidebar, so most I turn down. However, there are products out there that I truly think are worthwhile for preppers to know about. In a couple of weeks you\’ll see a new ad for an innovative product that pumps water out of a well when the power goes down. Yes, it will be another ad but there are many readers who will be helped just by knowing this product is out there.

      Thanks for your comment. I\’ve given a lot of thought over the years to those same issues.

      • Glad to know you're keeping it in mind as well. Thanks for the response!

  2. Thanks for the review. I'm new to this "prepping" and have ordered a few single items to see if any of them are going to be suitable for me and mine. So far the only one that has arrived and been tested is the Bridgeford BBQ Beef sandwich. I found it was way too much bread and not enough beef or sauce. Though as you said in your review, they are meant for long storage and did fill the belly. Maybe a 2 out of 5. I have ordered a Wise food 72 Hour Pack and a trial pack from them also. I'll have the daughter test them, as she is the most finnicky of the 3 of us.

  3. Thanks for the review. I had never heard of Wise Foods and I think your review was objective. If anything, your blog is designed to assist others in making informed decisions and I'm most grateful for that. I see no ethical dilemma here at all.

    • Thanks, Lynda. I don\’t even give a thought about whether or not an advertiser or affiliate carries a product when I review it. I appreciate reviews and read them all the time, and I figured other people do as well.

  4. Have you ever tried any of the Augason farms products?

    • Coincidentally, that's my next food review! It will be posted next week.

    • I LOVE those products, but I buy the dehydrated and milk stuff, not ready-made foods. Especially fond of the honey powder (which is how I found out about them — a review of the honey powder on another blog), and the "morning moo". Looking forward to the next review.

  5. I've always found you to be objective and unbiased, myself.

  6. I can't wait to read a review of a system that gets water out of the well after the power goes off. It has been cause for worry but I found some good ideas at the LDS site you provided. Keep up the good,
    honest opinions, "they are helping quite a few of us".

  7. Had about the same experience with Wise foods. Rather bland and tasteless. Glad I sampled before buying a ton of that stuff. Too many good ones out there to waste space on something you are not crazy about.

    • I might still buy Wise Foods but would also have condiments and seasonings on hand. The serving size issue is pretty much the same with all freeze-dried/dehydrated entrees. You either buy more than you think you\’ll need (based on the stated serving sizes per package) or plan on bulking up the meal with rice, bread, veggies, etc.

  8. What about the ingredients in this product? There are so many VERY HARMFUL ingredients in most prepared foods. MSG (hidden under hundreds of pseudonyms), HFCS, GMO foods and many more (do you know that soy feminizes males of ALL ages and is almost 100% GMO?) have done a good job of lowering the IQ of the population and other physically harmful effects. What good is survival if the food you eat is less than nutritious and diminishes your capacities, physically and mentally? Whole, organic foods (brown rice, whole wheat, legumes, etc.) are tasty, nutritious and not a drudgery to cook. Also, you will want to eat less because your body gets excellent nutrition from smaller amounts. (N.B.: I am not a nutritionist nor a doctor. I just know what I have experienced in my own life.) Check it out. placeofrefuge2012.com

  9. Yea, even the Mountain House serving sizes are misleading IMO. Maybe in a pure survival situation where you're rationing food for portion control. But those recommended portion sizes don't work for me.

    Which means I need to have more on hand than go with their "servings" labeling.

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